It might seem like drinking Champagne is a pretty fool-proof endeavor, especially when it seems like pouring and sipping are the only steps involved. But it turns out that consuming this bubbly wonder is a bit more complex than you might assume.
We sat down with Moët & Chandon's Elise Losfelt, who, as a sixth-generation winemaker, told us that there is a right way to drink Champagne so you can best enjoy its aromas and flavors. Check out the pitfalls -- and how to avoid them -- below.
A white wine glass is optimal, Losfelt says, as the bowl allows the wine to open in the glass so you can enjoy all the aromas and complexity. "Traditional Champagne flutes have a celebratory shape and are perfect for showcasing Champagne’s stream of bubbles, but their narrow shape actually stifles aromas and flavors," she adds. "Coupe glasses, on the other hand, create the opposite experience; the glass’ extra-wide mouth overexposes the Champagne to air allowing the bubbles to escape too quickly and not allowing the drinker to enjoy all of its aromas."
Champagne, and Rosé Champagne in particular, may seem like drinks meant to accompany delicacies, but these beverages taste best with salty and fatty foods. So bring on the fried chicken, hotdogs, BBQ sauce and french fries.
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Pouring more than one-third of a glass will cause the Champagne to warm too quickly, which will prevent you from enjoying the crisp drink chilled.
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This three-step process will ensure total control over the bubbly bottle: Place your thumb on top of the cage, untwist but keep the wire frame on the cork, and twist the bottle away from the cork, instead of the cork away from the bottle. Tada!
Unless you're planning to consume Champagne within 3-4 days, store the bottle in a cool, dark place until you're ready to drink it. "If you store it for weeks [in the refrigerator], it will become problematic because there is not a lot of humidity in a fridge and the cork is going to dry out," Losfelt says. "As the cork dries out, the seal between the bottle and the cork will loosen up and the Champagne will oxidize faster, which will dramatically change its aromas."
Champagne's temperature is hugely important to tasting its flavor complexity. If you hold the glass by the bowl, your hand will warm the liquid too quickly.
The bubbly beverage is not meant to accent only formal or celebratory occasions. "Don’t overthink Champagne – just enjoy it," Losfelt says. "And if you have a bottle of Champagne in your refrigerator now, don’t wait for a special occasion...You will see that by opening that bottle, the special occasion will come to you."
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